Garmin puts comms on your wrist with Venu 2 Plus smartwatch
One of our picks for 2021's best smartwatches – the Venu 2 sports watch – has been treated to a new family member. The Venu 2 Plus GPS offers the same great features set, but comes with a microphone so you can answer calls and chat to a voice assistant without taking out your phone.
"Garmin has quite literally answered the call for adding on-device voice capabilities to the latest Venu smartwatch," said the company's VP of global sales at launch earlier this month. "For the active lifestyle customer, multi-tasking is crucial, and now Garmin customers have the ability to answer a call or send a text without digging through their pocket or bag."
Once connected to a smartphone, the integrated microphone and speaker allows users to make and take calls, access that phone's voice assistant for queries or to compose and send texts – all from the wrist.
Elsewhere, the new sports offers a similar kind of user experience to the Venu 2 before it. It's packed with health, wellness and fitness features including heart rate monitoring with configurable alerts, there's respiration, Pulse Ox blood oxygen saturation, stress, hydration and sleep tracking, as well as menstrual cycle and pregnancy tracking.
A Health Snapshot provides a quick look at key health stats, and generates a report that can be shared with a healthcare professional, and there are a bunch of pre-loaded indoor and outdoor sports apps for activities like running, cycling, swimming and hiking. There's a free running coach function to help you train, and even animated onscreen workouts. And Garmin's LiveTrack can alert friends or family if you have a mishap while out and about.
The Venu 2 Plus features a 1.3-inch AMOLED display at 416 x 416 pixels topped with Gorilla Glass 3, and the option to switch to always-on mode. This is surrounded by a stainless steel bezel, with fiber-reinforced polymer and stainless steel being the materials for the 43-mm case, which sits between the Venu 2 and 2S for size.
The sports watch can be used with iOS or Android smartphones, and the per-charge battery life is reported to be up to nine days in smartwatch mode, 24 hours with GPS active or 8 hours of continuous use in GPS and music playback mode, with onboard storage for up to 650 songs.
The Venu 2 Plus comes in three colorways and is available now for a suggested retail price of US$449.99.
Product page: Venu 2 Plus